Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers reader questions about the
Drew: I've been drinking purple Kool-Aid all year, and it's gotten bitter at some points, but man, it has aged just right at the moment and tastes so GOOD! Can we change No. 5's nickname to Joe Money? I wouldn't take any other QB in the league over
Mike Preston: Drew, the purple Kool-Aid always tastes good. Just ask the people over at The Castle. And the nickname "Joe Money" will be appropriate for Flacco a few weeks after the Super Bowl. He is still on his rookie deal.
Mike Ginsberg in Arlington, Va.: I know we won the Patriots game and I should not be complaining about the officiating – they got most of the calls right – but I had a problem with two plays: (1) the hit on
Mike Preston: The refs look closely at teams with a reputation for playing physical football. They are not supposed to, but they do. The
Bob K.: Congratulations again on your correct pick. I was surprised that
Mike Preston: The Ravens double-teamed Wilfork all game, and they have a lot of muscle at guard with
Richard in Dallas: Which decision was the key decision that propelled the Ravens into the Super Bowl: letting Bryant McKinnie out of the doghouse or firing
Mike Preston: I think you would have to choose letting McKinnie out of the doghouse. The Ravens had success with Cam Cameron over four-and-a-half seasons. However, when the offensive line struggled, the whole team struggled. It seems to me that actually having the best five offensive linemen on the field is a good idea. When your offensive line is dominating, you are physically controlling the game and the time of possession, especially with a strong running attack. You are also keeping your defense off the field. Your best defense is still a strong offense.
Marty from Columbia: Does Bryant McKinnie have a chance to come back next year to the Ravens? As you've stated, there is no doubt the offensive line is much better with him and now can be considered a strength and not the team's weakness. By the way, congrats on calling this ALL SEASON LONG.
Mike Preston: Marty, McKinnie definitely wants to come back next season. He doesn't want to start new again in another city and he likes his teammates, especially the group on the offensive line. He works well and has a strong relationship with Osemele. But now is not the time for thoughts like that.
Somebody, please pass the Kool-Aid.
Mike Preston: John, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell worked his game plan again. Caldwell has the experience of being a head coach and knows that it requires the whole team to win. The Ravens defense had been on the field for a record number of plays the previous two weeks. The time of possession battle tilted to the Patriots early again, and it is hard for teams to get in a flow offensively when they are not on the field. The Ravens had pretty bad field position for most of the first half, and as the Ravens had the ball more, he could open up the offense more.
At halftime, coach
LordBern: Am I the only one in Baltimore embarrassed about
Mike Preston: I don't question Ray Lewis' convictions or his belief. I think every man has his own personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ once they commit to that faith.
As for me, I would probably do things differently. One of the best things about Christianity is the simplicity of its nature. It's not about showmanship.
With Ray Lewis, I know what he stands for and is about at his core. I don't pay any attention to the theatrics after the games anymore because I turn it off. I would like for
I still prefer the way
Julian: Hey Mike, is there any need at all to resign
Mike Preston: Julian, in today’s
JDovi: How do you evaluate the Ravens' interior defensive line and what changes do you see coming to the interior defensive line?
Mike Preston: This group has struggled all season. Haloti Ngata has struggled with injuries and
LordBern: I think the
Mike Preston: Actually, an argument could be made that the NFC was the stronger conference this season. The AFC just has the bigger names at quarterback. The 49ers and Ravens both played quality opponents to get to the Super Bowl. This will be a hard-fought, close game much like last season on Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to a quality, hard-hitting game, but my prediction for the winner is the same as the past two weeks.
Joe from New Jersey: Mike, love your column. My only question is, can I sit next to you during the